How to Grow Your Tutoring Business

Have you ever considered hiring other tutors?

It is an excellent growth strategy and now is the perfect time! There are a lot of unemployed teachers out there and for some reason, no matter how much I try to convince them, few are open to working for themselves as a tutor and the ones who are have yet to follow through. They’re looking for a real job with somebody else to hold them accountable. Here’s where you come in.

You can hire teachers to work for you as tutors!

It’s win-win. You’ll be responsible for finding clients, scheduling sessions, handling the business tasks and so forth so that your employees don’t have to. Then, your employees only have to worry about showing up on time and doing their job.

Here’s how to do it.

At this point, it will be appropriate to seek legal counsel to determine what type of business structure will work best for you because with employees comes liabilities and you need to protect yourself. Second, you will need to file for an UEN which you can do at the ACRA’s website. You should also make sure you have any required permits or licenses that you may need for your locality. You can figure out what these are by using Google, just make sure to only visit and trust the .gov sites. Many businesses will try to sell you the service of incorporating for hefty fees. Everyone advises against those services.

Again, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get legal advice for this stage of your business. I didn’t when I started and I made a mistake that may end up costing me $10,000. Make sure that the lawyer you choose has experience with entrepreneurs. It is a huge bonus if your lawyer is an entrepreneur himself and has started his own firm. Ask your SCORE mentor for recommendations because they’ll most likely know several lawyers.

How to Find Teachers

Posting an ad to craigslist is always a good place to start. Also, you can search through public resumes and contact people directly through sites like LinkedIn and the resume/job wanted section on your local craigslist. You may also meet candidates at networking events or through your existing contacts. Get out there and network!

When you find someone, ask to see a pay stub from when they were teaching. This will let you know that they’ve most likely been finger printed and have had a background check because that’s a requirement for teachers in many areas. Also ask for references and be sure to call all of them. Meet with the prospective hire and get a feel for who they are. As a rule of thumb, and as Jeffrey Fox would say, “Only hire people you would invite home to dinner.”

How to Determine Pay

Chances are, paying an hourly rate is the best option. To stay competitive with other tutoring businesses in your area, make some phone calls and do some visits in person and see if you can figure out how much tutors are paid. Pretend that you’re interested in a job if needed. Once you know what the competition is paying, offer your employees more.

It’s up to you to determine how much your services are worth to your employees. The money you charge your client will be used to pay your employees and the rest goes towards business expenses and then to you as profit. Take your time and really think about your business goals and your financial goals before making a decision because if you change your mind later you will face challenges in either cutting the pay of your employees or increasing your fees to your clients.

How to Handle Billing

Have your clients pay you for the tutoring sessions. Don’t have your tutors handle the money, that’s your job. You can have your clients pay you in cash, by check, or you can even accept credit card payments or bank transfers if you create a PayPal account. I have a detailed post on my personal blog (with pictures, yay!) that shows how to set up an eBay and a PayPal account. Just scroll down to the PayPal part if you need help setting up a PayPal account.

I recommend paying your employees with a check.

How to Schedule Tutoring Sessions

When you have hired a tutor, request their availability for the each month as far ahead of time as you can. For example, if it’s the first of September then it would be a good idea to request the November availability from each of your employees. Google calendar is a great tool to use as well if you and your employees are tech savy.

When you find a client for your tutor, you may want to go with your tutor to meet with the client for the first time. Take care of the paperwork, close the sale, and let your tutor work his or her magic!

If you have already finalized the sale, be sure to call up your client and your tutor after the first tutoring session. Make sure that everyone was happy and got along well. If it’s a bad match, switch tutors or speak with the client to see what they’d like to do about it. Do this step even if you did decide to go to the first meeting with the tutor.

Let’s talk!

This process is very tedious and there are countless implications that must be addressed. Don’t let that stop you from growing your business though. If you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them and so will other readers (hopefully)! Also, share your success stories with us too because we can always use some positive encouragement!